My brother and his wife got married in 1992, just as I was beginning my senior year in college.
The wedding was a beautiful celebration on the shores of Chesapeake Bay.
The bride was beautiful, the groom was giddy, and the setting was sublime. Myself and the other youngsters at the wedding, however, largely ignored these meaningful details in order to concentrate on the reception's most important feature -- the open bar.
Yes, we partied. We partied hard.
But the young folks couldn't hold a candle to one other hard-core group at the party. You see, the wedding was child-free, which meant that the guests with young ones had been forced to find childcare back at home. And because the location was somewhat remote, almost all of them had opted to stay overnight without their kids.
And Holy Moses, did those folks go nuts!
I remember looking around the room and wondering what could possibly be wrong with them? I mean, they were doing shots at the bar; they were making a spectacle of themselves on the dance floor. A few of them were even [GASP!] making out!
For the love of all decency -- some of these people were CLOSE TO FORTY!
Cut to last weekend, which found my husband and I heading to his sister's wedding in Bloomington, Indiana. We dropped the kids with a super capable college kid and headed off to the celebration, betuxed and begowned.
Closing in on forty ourselves, we pushed the youngsters aside and hit the bar. HARD. I thought back to that night in the early Nineties and felt a sudden kinship with the parents I had once disdained.
I realized that as a twenty-something there was nothing stopping me from partying whenever I wanted, which was great. But as an almost forty-something with young kids at home, I only get the chance to let loose a few times a year. So, when the opportunity comes along, I take it. And I make it count.
David and I were on fire. We drank copiously. We danced for hours on end. (Did a certain father of two attempt to execute an unsightly version of 'The Worm' in the center of a circle of guests? I won't say no.) We threw caution to the wind and crammed several months worth of fun into a single booze-fueled evening.
And, I will admit that I caught a couple of concerned looks from the twenty-somethings in the room. But, I just let them stare as I smiled back at them knowingly. Because someday I know they'll come to understand the simple truth...
...that there ain't no party like a parents of toddlers' party.
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go find some more aspirin.